Saturday, December 5, 2009

Homemade Potato Chips

The month of May in Pune is a time for summer vacation, over-chlorinated swimming pools, Alphonso mangoes and 40ยบ C plus temperatures. It is also time for the industrious Puneri housewife to make homemade kurdai, papadi and potato chips. There isn’t a Puneri worth his salt that hasn’t slipped on or walked over a sheet full of sticky sabudana papad freshly laid out to dehydrate in the scorching summer sun. One of the most common sights of the Maharashtrian summer is an assortment of papads spread over sheets of tarp on roofs, terraces, courtyards and any flat surface that had the potential for catching a bit of the sun, irrespective of its inconvenience to the passerby. I always wondered “Why would you toil for a whole day making the batter, spend another couple of hours laying them in the sun, employ the area kids to make sure the birds aren’t stealing them and in a week you’d have a substandard side-dish that one can totally live without?” Not to mention these are readily available at any neighbourhood store—and really cheap, too. Although I must say, my cricket skills would have been even more lacklustre, if I didn’t have to submit to the rule that if the ball were to land directly on any of Mrs. Natoo’s papads, you’re out!! And as if that wasn’t punishment enough, an addendum to the rule stated that the retrieval of said ball would become the sole responsibility of the batsman.

Ingredients

  • 2 Whole boiled Potatoes
  • Chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

Method

  • Using a slicer make thin slices of the potatoes over a sheet of plastic making sure the potatoes do not overlap
  • Place the sheet directly in the sun (or better yet, start the slicing outdoors in the sun) and allow the potatoes to dehydrate for a day or two
  • When completely dehydrated, they’re ready to fry
  • In a wok, take enough oil for deep-frying
  • Put 7-8 slices at a time
  • When slices puff up, remove and place over an absorbing sheet (like a newspaper or tissue)
  • Drizzle chili powder and salt over chips as per taste
  • Serve without guilt